BUT FIRST…SKIN CARE.

Be Good to your skin, you’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life

I’ll be honest with you if you had asked me a few years ago if I’d ever write about self-care or skin care I’d probably have made some sort of sarcastic comment (so not like me) and then dismissed the absurdity being asked. Well, here I am, writing to you out there, about my journey into the world of skincare.  I have only become more active in taking better care of my skin in the past few years, mostly because I used to think I’m not a “girly” of girl and didn’t realize that it was actually a basic in the world of self- care. I still only dabble in the “girly girl” world to this day but I have a better sense of myself in that world. 

Growing up, I didn’t really have huge skin problems; like most teenagers, I got some spots and they were always sure to appear at the most inopportune moments. Around that time of the month, I got a few more blemishes than usual but I wasn’t at all in as bad a position with my skin as some of my friends or people of my age. My skin routine when I was a teenager was even more basic than it is even to this day, I simply used Pear’s or Dove soap and lukewarm water to wash my face in the morning and I used cleansing wipes, usually Superdrug’s own brand or Clean and Clear  to remove any eyeliner I used to wear and clean my face before bed. I will admit however, I have woken up many a morning with the whole “Panda eye” thing going on because I simply didn’t care enough about myself or my skin to bother. I wasn’t one of those girls who wore a lot of make-up, I’m still not in comparison to many, in my younger days it was all about the heavy eyeliner to express my rock chick soul and maybe around the age of 16  it became heavy eyeliner, a small amount of mascara and lip gloss and that was it. This was the story until my early 20’s when I then exchanged my heavy eyeliner for a more 50’s pin-up style and added foundation into the mix. Once I started using more make-up that is when my skin started to become rebellious, more make-up and a girl who didn’t care much about herself isn’t a good combination. 

“Your skin is 90% of your selfie”

These days, in my early 30’s, the main problem I have with my skin is Rosacea. Rosacea is a common and chronic skin problem, it is characterized as: “persistent redness caused by dilated blood vessels, small bumps and pus-filled spots similar to acne” and mostly affects fair-skinned people. I’m practically blue. I’m so pale, in summer I teeter more towards a light grey shade and for me, the worst areas are my cheeks. Rosacea started for me around 25 and over the years I have used so many different products that promote themselves as the best thing on the market for helping and lo and behold, it hasn’t done what it stated it would do. I still get flares of my rosacea and I don’t ever think the red-tint I mostly get these days will ever dissipate but I have definitely found skin care products and a routine that helps keep it at bay. 

In a moment you will read a few words that these days seems to be both all too popular and yet still get an eye roll but I’m going to say it because I stand by it; The best products I have found for my skin are all natural, animal cruelty free and, here it comes, vegan friendly. I have made a commitment to myself, for myself, to make sure that any self-care/beauty products are all of these things and around 95% of my skin care products are courtesy of Lush UK.  

I’ve tried a lot of different products in their skin care range and have experimented to find the right combination for my skin. I recommend all the products I mention below.

The first product I ever tried was “Angels on Bare Skin” fresh cleanser. With these products being all natural, the consistency and texture took a few times of use to get used to and I have seen a few people say they disliked the smell of the cleanser, but it truly didn’t bother me at all. I used “Angels on Bare Skin” for a long time, about 2 years and I really saw such a difference in my skin with it, the feeling after using it was amazing, my skin felt so clean and nourished. I have tried “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Buche De Noel” also, the latter is only available around Christmas time, and does really help if, like me, your skin becomes drier and a little bit tender in Winter. I always found myself going back to Angels on Bare Skin. I have only recently moved away from this product in my constant daily routine because I have found that others cater to my skin more these days, however, I do like to add this product in every so often. 

The cleansers I use now are:

 “Ultraplant” the vegan alternative to the equally fabulous “Ultrabland” which is amazing for the days I feel I need a little bit more nourishing and moisturizing. It is based on techniques used by the Ancient Greeks and I have to say since using it my skin does feel like it’s so nourished and glowing, even on the days where my rosacea may be flaring up a little, it still feels fantastic. “7 to 3” is an absolutely amazing little product. It is a cleansing wipe that is bio-degradable and reusable which is perfect for taking away with you on trips because it saves you having to take a full pack of wipes. This product is convenient and has all the luxury of the “9 to 5” cleanser. I still add “9 to 5” to my skin care routine because I find that these products together are fantastic as make up remover and aren’t too heavy on the skin. 

“Home is where the face masks are”

“Me time” for me now usually means at some point I’ll be using a face mask and when talking Lush face masks, I don’t think there is one I haven’t tried and equally haven’t loved. Their range is so amazing, I adore their fresh face masks, some of my favourites are: “Cupcake”, “Don’t Look at Me”, “Rosy Cheeks” and “Catastrophe Cosmetic”.The ones I can’t possibly life without these days are “Cup of Coffee” and their self-preserving version of “Mask of Magnaminty”, they are gifts that keep on giving, they smell amazing and they are so refreshing and invigorating. I love using “Mask of Magnaminty” after my morning workout for a very welcome refresh and cool down and on mornings I need a little more of a wake-up call “Cup of Coffee” is the pick-me-up I need. 

I have combined, sensitive skin with drier patches when it comes to matters of the face and there is no other moisturiser I would use than “Celestial”. It isn’t a very heavy or greasy product and it doesn’t irritate the skin either. I can however, also recommend “Full of Grace” which is one of their “naked” products and is a facial oil serum in a bar form. It smells amazing and it really does renew and moisturise the skin without being too heavy or greasy. As a proud tattooed woman, I also use a lot of Lush products when healing a new tattoo as they are all natural and chemical free. “Dream Cream” is my go-to body cream, especially when it comes to applying moisturizer on a new piece of skin art. It does a great job of soothing and renewing the skin and I don’t have to worry about any nasties affecting the colour pigments.

No only are the products Lush produce handmade, natural, cruelty-free and some now vegan friendly but also they help to recycle too. All their black pots are re-used in wonderful ways. For every 5 black pots you take back to a store you get a free Lush fresh face mask and while talking to the lovely staff in my local store (Shout out to the lovely folks in Lush, Stirling) they told me that the boards they make things on in store are made out of their recycled pots. So they are helping the environment and reducing waste too!

I had heard a lot about “Sand and Sky” and their pink Australian clay pore-fining mask and recently I decided to treat myself and bought it. I use it twice a week as their guidelines for drier skin say 1-2 times a week and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this product. It is of course cruelty- free and has no hidden nasties in it at all. 

Adding this to my pamper routine with the Lush products has made such a difference and my skin hasn’t look so radiant and felt so soft in years. I still have some issues of course but I have noticed a huge minimizing effect on my redness and my skin just looks and feels so much healthier. 

It has taken me a long time to realise that taking care of myself in these ways isn’t selfish or vain and it has boosted my journey into self-love immensely. I can’t also state enough that drinking mostly water every day has changed my health and my skin also, its a very simple change but has made a world of difference. Love the skin you are and take care of it the way you feel is best for you and your lifestyle cause let’s face it, no one has every said they regret looking after their skin.

And Yes, you can guarantee many a face mask selfie on the ‘gram very soon.

Love Hard. Be Fierce. Horns High.